This Week in Photography Books: Hinda Schuman

 

Have you ever seen “The Godfather Part III?”

Be honest.

Have you ever sat through the whole thing?

I didn’t think so. (I watched it back in the day, but that was a long time ago.)

Well-before Sofia Coppola became known as the director of such films at “The Virgin Suicides,” and the excellent “Lost in Translation,” she appeared as a vastly under-qualified actress, playing a lead role in the final film in her father’s trilogy.

Sometimes, as Americans, I don’t think we grasp the reach of our culture. Our cinematic and television history has impacted kids growing up across the planet.

Take Norway, for instance.

I’m currently binge-watching the brilliant “Lillyhammer” on Netflix, starring all-time great Jersey guy Steven Van Zandt, also known as Little Steven from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and as Silvio throughout the entirety of “The Sopranos.”

Like his buddies Bruce and Jimmy Iovine, he’s become a full-fledge superstar in his own right.

I’ll spare you any further, in case you want to catch up, but there are Sopranos and Godfather references sprinkled throughout, even though the entire production was Norwegian, beyond Mr. Van Zandt. (Who also served as writer and producer.)

But back to my original question.

The reason you have likely NOT watched “The Godfather Part III” is that before the internet, someone mentioned that they heard from their cousin that it was long and terrible. (Or maybe just terrible.)

“The Godfather Parts I and II” are rightfully known as masterpieces of 20th Century Art.

They were as good as the medium of celluloid cinema can get.

So why make Part III?

Sometimes, you’ve got to know when to quit, people. You want to leave the stage while they’re still screaming your name.
(Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!)

That’s what I came away feeling, having just put down the extremely interesting, and for-the-most-part excellent new “Dear Shirley,” by Hinda Schuman, recently published by Daylight. (Quick shout out: Daylight often makes risky design decisions, and I like that.)

“Dear Shirley” begins with two essays that set the scene, so it doesn’t want you to go in blind, context-wise. I respect the decision to include or elide context, (depending on the book,) but in this case, I appreciate the heads ups by Sunil Gupta and Magdalena Sole.

Part 1, also called “Dear Shirley,” is a masterful project. It’s dynamite, and speaks to us from the front lines of the identity politics wars of the late 70’s and early 80’s, as ethnic, racial and sexual minorities fought to claim space in America.

I know the Pictures Generation taught us to question reality, but the diaristic letters to the off-screen Shirley, (like Vera from Cheers,) seem real to me. And the pictures line up with a narrative of a young, gay, Jewish woman who marries a man in Vermont in 1971.

By 1978, they seem to be experimenting with an open relationship, but really her husband is slowly falling in love with Nancy, and pushing Hinda out.

She finds love with Susan, and their relationship grows, suffers setbacks, and ultimately seems to prevail. We learn this from the many letters in the book, all to Shirley, until they’re not.

There are many nude images, frankly, and I can’t photograph them for you, as we’ve maintained a SFW policy in the column for years. But they’re strong, and I like the inclusion of contact sheets along with the staged portraits and few landscape establishment shots.

It feels real, and I trust it to be real, even though perhaps I should question it.

Part 1 seems to end in 1988. And design-wise, I think use of text-printed vellum, in small see-through blocks, was successful. (If risky.)

My only “but” with this book, if you’re sensing a “but” coming, is that I think Part 2, “A True Story,” is not very good. I get why it’s there, bookending life, but the quality difference between the two series is way too big to ignore.

The former images were technically astute, artistically composed black and white photos, and the accompanying writing was taut in every way.

Every single thing felt necessary.

The color pictures seem to have been shot with a not-very-good digital point and shoot, and the writing evokes bad high school poetry. Colors and compositions are off, and the entire technical competence is called into question.

But then the biographical text at the book’s end made me reevaluate the story, as my certitude that Part 1 was “true” was called into question by the seemingly false narrative of Part 2.

“A True Story” suggests that after a time together, or perhaps after a reunion, Hinda and Susan get a divorce late in life. Their love story ends, and heartbreak is the predominant sentiment.

But that blasted epilogue heavily suggests that the two women are happily married and still deeply in love.

Which is it?

I’m betting that Part 1 is “real,” and Part 2 is “fake,” but I can’t say I’m sure.

Can a book end on a riddle?

Can a book review end with a question?

Bottom Line: A fascinating look at coming out in the 80’s

To purchase “Dear Shirley” click here

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers, so we may maintain a balanced program. 

The Art of the Personal Project: Fernando Decillis

- - Personal Project
The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:   Fernando Decillis

BandoKillers (ongoing project)

“It’s easy to go down rabbit holes on Instagram. I just start looking around and get caught up in a look or an aesthetic or subject. A couple of years ago, I found a hashtag #bandokillers— the images were mostly abandoned buildings, institutions— from all over the world. I have always been a collector of small items and furniture that people discarded. I once made a whole series on strange odds and ends I found at the flea market in Bogotá, Colombia.

After finding the bandokillers hashtag, I started following a few of the people who were going out and shooting in abandoned spaces in Atlanta. There were a couple of guys who were around that were in this world of #bikelife, lowriders, #bandokilles— and this intense, beautiful grit. I reached out and tagged along to car shows and to a couple bandos (abandoned buildings) with them and we just became friends. My #bandokillers project is more about portraits of creative people in these spaces. All of their work has this running theme of making beauty out of the things society discards. And trust me…we discard a lot.

My story is influenced by the subjects of the portraits, and by my friends who gave me a window to this wild world. The work, which I am continually adding to, can be found here: BandoKillers

Instagram accounts/hashtags to follow

@wire_atl

@_sig_

#bandokillers

#bikelife

 

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

The Daily Edit – The Atlantic: Maciek Jasik

- - The Daily Edit

 

The Atlantic


Creative Director:
David Sommerville
Art Director: Paul Spella
Photographer: Maciek Jasik


Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?

Maciek: The Atlantic wanted an abstract artistic way to show gender dysphoria in youth. So the soft, colorful approach of my ‘A Thousand Souls’ project appealed to them, as well as my ‘Bypassing the Rational’ series of nudes, which I shoot in a way that’s very obscured and indistinct. They also inquired about a double exposure element that could show both genders in the frame, which I was able to do in-camera with two trans youth.

How did you decide casting or are those people mentioned in the story?
I took care of casting by contacting several trans organizations in NYC and other cities. Word got out to the trans community and several people got in touch. I actually shot many people for the shoot, but only a few made it into the final story. I would receive photos, forward them to the magazine, confirm mutual interest and invite them to the studio. None of them were mentioned in the actual story.
Was this done in camera or post?
All the effects you see were performed in-camera. They’re all very lo-fi techniques that I’ve developed over time. I don’t like to get too involved in that conversation, but I will say it involves placing different elements in front of the camera to alter the focus or add color to the image.
Why did you choose those particular colors?
I tend to combine warm and cool colors in all my images to maintain a balance visually. I never plan on any specific colors until I am there, shooting with the person. So it’s generally an intuitive process informed by many years of combining colors and generally knowing what works and what doesn’t.
What direction did you give the subjects during the shoot?
If I don’t need to say anything, I won’t, as it’s often better to just see what the subject will do without having to interfere. For the full-body shot, the magazine had suggested the subject looking down or away and I thought that was a good idea, to make the image less deliberate. Two pairs of people came together, so that made shooting easier, as they were comfortable with each other and we would all chat during the shoot.

This Week in Photography Books: Ira Block

 

In life, the only constant is change.

(If that isn’t a hell of a koan, I don’t know what is.)

Life moves in cycles, as do orbits. The wheel of karma turns, and eventually makes its way back around for everyone.

What was once young becomes old, and then dies.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but most of us avoid contemplating our mortality. Denial works for Climate Change, sure, but also for the slow decline of our mental and physical faculties as we push the boundaries of aging.

Take baseball, for instance,

It was once considered America’s pastime.
Mickey Mantle.
Babe Ruth.
Hank Aaron.
Willie Mays.

These were the most famous guys in the country.

A generation of Baby Boomers grew up idolizing their favorite ball players; rhapsodizing about the mythical Ebbet’s Field in Brooklyn, a Mecca for the fuzzy memories of a generation. (Including my own father.)

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I followed baseball on par with football and basketball. I liked the before-and-since-putrid New York Mets, who were briefly good, and won the World Series when I was 12.

I stopped watching baseball in earnest about 15 years ago, during the steroid crisis. Something about seeing smug Barry Bonds get away with it, and cynical San Franciscans defending his awful behavior, soured me on the sport.

That was about the time the Mets choked their way out of contention two years in a row under Willie Randolph, and again, they’ve only been good two or three times in 30 years.

Now, it seems the Mets are cursed by the ghost of Bernie Madoff. The team owners, the Wilpons, profited heavily from his schemes, and were forced to pay massive fines that have since crippled their team.

But really, I don’t care about baseball anymore.

And neither do most kids these days, if the think-pieces are to be believed. (Or my own 10 year old, when I asked him.)

The NBA is fast-paced, so kids love basketball, but getting a Gen Z child to watch a full baseball game, over three hours, seems as likely as Donald J Trump magically turning into a gracious, empathetic person.

(“Listen, Pence, honestly, I’m sorry. I feel bad for all those times I called you a Nancy-boy in the locker room. For all those times I tempted you to be in a room alone with a woman who wasn’t your wife. Really, I’m sorry. I apologize wholeheartedly. I was a terrible guy, but I swear I’m a changed man.”)

Baseball has the oldest fan base of the major sports in America, and is currently considering tinkering with the rules to make the game faster.

But can it really compete for attention in a cohort that likes watching video game competitions on Youtube on their phones and Playstations?

Honestly?

Not bloody likely.

What’s that you said? American culture is not the only culture in the world?

Well, that’s true.

You know where they still like baseball, even today? (Other than LA, which is Dodger-crazy?)

Cuba.

Cuba is mad for baseball. And if “Cuba Loves Baseball: A Photographic Journey,” by Ira Bock, is to be believed, baseball is more religion than sport on the big, Caribbean island.
(Published by Skyhorse Publishing)

This one turned up in the mail in April, around opening day, and waited its turn in the book stack. (Patiently, patiently.)

It seemed like the perfect choice today, what with our little theme of books with helpful, evocative titles.

“Cuba Loves Baseball.”

That is clearly what this book is about. Two smart forewards, (one from broadcasting legend Bob Costas,) set the scene for how much Cubans love baseball.

And then the pictures do the rest.

Apparently, Ira Block was a Nat Geo guy for a long time, and you can see it, with his facility working in another culture. (And yes, he was one of those Brooklyn Jewish guys who went to Ebbet’s Field all those years ago.)

Like many of the books I review, this one suffers from too many pictures. There are many gems in here, aesthetically and in mood and tone, including a really excellent set of portraits of older baseball players. (I’ll photograph all of them, so you can see it below.)

But other than being a bit heavy on the edit, I really liked this one. It sets the intention to transmit a sense of love. (It’s in the damn title.)

And I think it succeeds.

There is joy in the subjects of these pictures, but also in their taking. Ira Block states in the epilogue that the project brought him back to his childhood, and I think that shows.

Baseball is alive and well these days. You just have to look a little further South to see it.

Bottom Line: Fun, joyous look at Cuba’s love of baseball

To purchase “Cuba Loves Baseball” click here 

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me directly at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers, so we may maintain a balanced program. 

The Art of the Personal Project

- - Personal Project

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Kris Davidson

At best, photographs offer a thin slice of truth; a photographic portrait of a person is a fleeting depiction of someone within the relentless rush of time, revealing a mere sliver of who they are. My new art series, tentatively titled American Memory Portraits, considers the curious process of Americanization, a memory-laden journey that unfolds over a lifetime. The collaborative series is comprised of large mixed media/collage portraits of first and second generation Americans with personal images from the subject’s life collaged in, usually into what they are wearing (Klimt’s paintings are an inspiration point for this series). As a whole, the idea is to create a more nuanced illustration of the varied immigrant experience, allowing for deeper glimpses into how cultures collide and cross-pollinate over time in America.

Pictured here, second from left: In-progress piece (45″ x 36″ print) of Miguel. I hired Miguel to be my driver for a story about the Valle de Guadalupe wine region in Mexico (tearsheets below). As he drove me to my locations, his story came out in pieces —  he had been deported from the United States last year, after having lived there for nearly 30 years. He is photographed here on the Tijuana beach with his American-born son a few yards away from where the border fence disappears into the ocean. Miguel’s best friend drives the child down every month from Los Angeles. Miguel only had a few blurry snapshots to share with me — the collage will be comprised of a plaid pattern on his shirt featuring repeated a repeated image of his son and the American mother.

I am actively looking for project participants — if you are a first or second generation American (or if you have a lead) I would love to hear from you!  kris@krisdavidson.com

 

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

The Daily Edit – Bicycling: Ryan Young

- - The Daily Edit


Bicycling

Creative Director: Jesse Southerland
Art Director: Colin McSherry
Photo Director: Amy Wolff
Photo Editor: Kristen Parker
Photographer: Ryan Young

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Ryan: Kristen Parker, photo editor of Bicycling Magazine and Runner’s World, reached out to me about an assignment in Petaluma, CA focused on Alison Tetrick. The direction for this  was fairly loose. I was told that this story would be a full feature and potentially a cover. She referenced a few personal projects on my site and said she wanted me to shoot in a documentary style focusing on portraits, real moments, landscapes, and any other details that I was drawn to. She was very clear that she didn’t want anything set up and or overly lit. Runner’s World and Bicycling Magazine have recently undergone a pretty dramatic change in their visual direction they’re looking for authenticity and are embracing real athletes, grit, and sweat. After the call with Kristen, I came away feeling very excited. There was no shot list or anything specific to execute. It was truly a dream opportunity.

Did you have a full draft of the article prior to shooting?
Fortunately, I was sent quite a bit of information on Alison prior to the shoot. Kristen sent me a rough draft of the story they had written which covered everything from her introduction into cycling to her comeback after a pair of horrible head injuries. Researching and learning about a subject before a shoot is just as important as charging camera batteries. When shooting an athlete I like to have a full understanding of where they’re at in their careers and life in general. Are they injured? Are they training? What’re they working towards?

Were you aware of her Dirty Kanza gravel win that put her on the map in this sport?
Honestly, I wasn’t aware prior to reading the rough draft and doing further research an Alison. I like to ride occasionally, but I’m a bit of a noob when it comes to the world of cycling. I loved that part of her story though!

Tell us about the spread image.
Given everything Alison had been through mentally and physically with the bike crashes and the traumatic brain injuries, I wanted to create images that expressed uncertainty and isolation. I wanted to play with focus and obscure a few portraits at some point in the shoot. As we were leaving her house she leaned up against a wall on her back porch and had a quiet moment to herself. I asked her to hang tight in the same pose so I could take a few photos through a screen door. I was excited to receive the final image order and have that as one of the selects. It felt very appropriate for the story.

Did you plan out that cover shot or was that pulled from the edit?
The cover shot was pulled from the edit. On our call, Kristen specified: “Don’t shoot for the cover.” I typically like to shoot as many options as possible within the given timeframe. For this assignment, I was blessed with 6 hours with Alison. I shot everything from wide environmental to tighter portraits and had more than enough to work with by the end of the day. Once I had a few options I felt could work for a cover, I began experimenting more with focus and shutter speed. It was very liberating to go out and react to a new subject and location without having to obsess over a specific execution. That’s pretty rare, especially for a cover shoot.

How did the shoot day unfold?
This shoot was a true collaboration between Alison and I. Prior to the ride, we had a phone call and went over different routes, aiming for what we felt would give us the most visual range. Alison suggested a route that offered us rolling hills, tall redwoods, and a vantage point overlooking the ocean a trifecta for the location scout. As expected, she was quite the trooper and ended up spending 6 hours working with my assistant and me.

How did this project inspire you?
I’ve been skateboarding since I was in middle school. I’ve suffered a string of injuries ranging from head to toe. Earlier this year, I underwent shoulder surgery. It’s as much of a mental battle as it is a physical one to push yourself after getting hurt. For me, having a chance to work on a comeback story involving an athlete was a dream assignment. I’m constantly searching for stories like Alison’s to pitch to magazines, so being approached by Kristen and the folks at Bicycling Magazine was beyond exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her ups and downs as she battled her way back onto the bike and life in general.

 

 

 

 

This Week in Photography Books: Tara Wray

 

I saw the greatest Kung Fu movie the other day.

New stuff.
Nothing vintage.

Netflix had been nudging me to watch “The Bodyguard” for a long time, as Chinese action movies are strong in my personal algorithm. (I don’t know why I resisted.)

Oh, sweet algorithm.
You know me so well.

“The Bodyguard” not only features living legend Sammo Hung, but it was the first film he directed since the seminal “Once Upon a Time in China and America.” (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

Sammo plays a fat, old, retired super agent, but his weight is not his biggest problem. Unfortunately, Sammo’s character, Old Ding, is suffering from serious dementia.

Like, so-bad-he-lost-his-own-granddaughter level dementia. (And they never found her, setting up his tragic backstory, some of which was unspooled in a short, wonderful, animated sequence.)

What’s that?
Have I ever seen a fat, old, senile action hero before?

No.
I have not.

I mention all of this because the final battle scene takes place between Sammo and three massive, nasty-looking, fully-tatted-up Russian gangsters, presumably trained in Sambo and jail-fighting.

One had a knife as big as a sword, and in fairness, Sammo did take them on one at a time, but then he (SPOILER ALERT) kicked each of their asses and killed them individually.

I mention this here because last night night, after dinner, I was telling my son about all this, and how cool it was that Sammo beat up three Russian bad guys. (An old guy! Who knew?)

Theo looked at me like I had a fork sticking out of my ear.

“It was in the movie, right? I mean, it was staged.”

Then my wife piped up, trying to save me embarrassment.
“I think he means the choreography was really good, honey. He knows it wasn’t real.”

I tried to defend myself.
“I know it wasn’t real. I just mean… it’s cool to see… I… Sammo Hung…”

And then I walked away with my tail between my legs.

But you guys know what I mean, right? Action heroes are powerful symbols for mass culture, and this underdog, woebegone loser, Old Ding, comes along and stands up for the little guy against those evil, psychopathic Russians.

Not only was this film unique in its choice of hero, and super-well-built with its choreography, but it also featured, out of nowhere, an all time great song right in the middle: “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone,” by Bill Withers.

Such.
A.
Great.
Song.

Shit like that is what made America great to begin with. (Funny aside, in the hotel in LA last week, I saw a guy in a red MAGA hat. Seemed odd on the West side of LA. I approached and saw that it had a yellow “not” sewed on it, this not 3 days after the fiasco. Someone got to work quickly on that one.)

Where was I?

Right.
“Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.”

People move to New Mexico and California for the sunshine. It’s addictive, that Vitamin D, as is the requisite blue sky. (Yellow and blue being a power combination in color theory.)

So I was intrigued to open “Too Tired for Sunshine,” a new book by Tara Wray, published by Yoffy Press in Atlanta. I never know when I’m going to go off on a little sub-theme in this column, but this is now two books in a row where I gave serious thought to a book’s innards, once I read the title.

Normally, titles are afterthoughts, if we’re being honest.

But this one is so damn poetic, and visual. (The opening essay confirms Ms. Wray is also a writer.)

Too tired for sunshine.
Why?
Are you depressed?
Or just world-weary?

Have you succumbed to a deep, French ennui?

Or have you sucked so much juice from life that you need to stay in bed, despite the great weather, because you need to rest up for the next onslaught of creativity?

I admit, the earlier reads make more sense, based on gut feeling, but when you look at these pictures, you realize it’s both.

We see dark reality, the kind that often kills off naiveté: chopped up animals, an actual bloody heart, more blood on snow, a blood-red eyeball.

But beyond that, most of the book has a witty wonder that is lots of fun.

The warm, glowing light on an Adams apple. Two donkeys facing one way, and the third in the opposite direction. A grandma in colored curlers, followed by flowers in the same color palette. And lots and lots of silly dogs.

At first, I took exception to an image that turned up, blurry, with conventional light trails.

1. I hate light trails.
2. It had no business being in the edit, as it was then constructed.

(Can you believe I debuted the listicle last week, and then came right back to it?)

But then, later on, there were other such images inserted for balance. So even my one nit-picky quibble was put to bed before the end of the book. (Though I still hate light trails.)

There is serious joie de vivre in this book. It’s perfect for today, because my half-dead brain was not getting woken up by any half-ass book today, and this one goes all they way.

Bottom Line: Funny, poignant, POV on life in general

To Purchase “Too Tired for Sunshine,” click here 

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers, so we may maintain a balanced program. 

The Art of the Personal Project: Paul Ernest

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Paul Ernst

Claimed as the 21st century Norman Rockwell, Paul Ernest’s photographic work has been received as a soulful interpretation of timelessness in today’s evolving informational and technological culture . Using the camera and his appreciation for American Realism, Paul has developed a style he calls Mise En Scene Realism. His focus on composition and lighting are primarily drawn from painters such as Wyeth, Rockwell and Johnson but with an influence from his former career as a Creative Director and designer. “We are a people of storytelling , parables and fables. Our perception of the aesthetics in life are absorbed and interpreted in a way that is no different from any style or technique that have ever been in existence. We learn from stories and the adoption of them into our way of thinking and living.”

Since 2011 Paul’s work has earned him awards from WPPI and PPA, including Diamond Photographer of the Year in 2012 and 2015 and earning his Craftsman and Master Degree. Paul’s work has been accepted in galleries such as Craighead Green and premiere arts festival throughout the state of Texas. His commissioned work hangs in restaurants, hotels and private collections including the lobby of his alma mater where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts. He also has developed his style into a line of home interior products sold nationally.

Paul’s passion for education and continued growth in himself and others is evident in his teaching and mentoring which he does in his home state as well as across the U.S. He lives just outside of Dallas, Texas with his wife and children.

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

#DiversifyTheLens: Why Your Brand Should Hire More Female Photographers

- - Working

Guest post by Amy Cooper, Owner and Artist Representative at Trove Artist Management

The current boom of female-first initiatives is transforming the creative industry, providing opportunities for women to find mentorship, addressing discrepancies in pay, and helping women rally together to drive new policies and practices. Actions such as the 3 Percent Movement50/50 Initiative and #TimesUpAdvertising have thrust these issues into the spotlight and gained significant attention and traction.

But we can do more.

Women photographers are still grossly underrepresented when it comes time to hire for big advertising campaigns and magazine covers, despite the fact that women account for:

·  roughly 50% of photographers and advertising industry workers

·  80% of art and photography school graduates

·  the majority of art buyers and photo editors

One report indicates that male photographers account for as high as 96% of advertising photographers. With a quick glance at the top photography representation agencies in the U.S., it’s clear that women comprise only about 10% of those agency rosters.

A Call to Action

“This movement is a specific request for advertising agencies to include at least one female photographer in each triple-bid.”

There is a huge population of highly talented, underutilized female photographers who are ready to put their unique vision to work. It’s time we create policies at both the brand and agency level to ensure they are given the opportunity to do so.

Introducing #DiversifyTheLens.

This movement is a specific request for agencies and other media to include at least one female photographer in each “triple-bid,” or make female (and non-white) options at least 50% of the consideration when selecting image-makers.

Doing so will not only help level the very uneven playing field for women photographers, but it will also benefit business across the board.

Female Photographers Click with Female Consumers

“…with the unprecedented rate at which women are amassing wealth and influence, it’s almost insane from a business perspective to misunderstand them.” – 3 Percent Movementmission

Women influence more than 80% of consumer spending, but more than 90% of women feel that advertisers do not understand them. To reach and influence the female consumer, advertising imagery has to portray them authentically, reflecting their motivations and needs. Female photographers have a unique ability to do this, and not including their perspective, especially in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, is not only a missed opportunity, but a massive business (and cultural) failure.

A Cultural Shift

Getting more women photographers working requires effort on the part of both the creative talent themselves, and those with the power to hire them. Typically, female photographers are less aggressive in marketing themselves and seeking representation than their male counterparts. This is something I am actively working to change through Trove Artist Management’s programs and my personal consulting practice, helping women learn to stand taller, pursue opportunity and promote themselves more confidently.

In the meantime, I encourage those of you with the hiring power to help facilitate this shift by searching harder to fill more of the gaps in the photo industry, advertising industry and the professional world at large with talented, hardworking women–and pay them what they’re worth.

“I want to further amplify this message by asking celebrities, fashion designers and influencers to specifically ask for diversity in photography when they are being featured or creating campaigns.”

My hope is that other photographers, creative directors, art buyers and editors will join this movement to ensure that more campaigns truly #DiversifyTheLens. I want to further amplify this message by asking celebrities, fashion designers and influencers to specifically ask for diversity in photography when they are being featured or creating campaigns.

My goal is that we all share this challenge widely so that more female photographers can be recognized and rewarded for their talent, which will benefit us all.

Together, we can make a difference.

Helpful Tools and Resources

To help you find the talent you need and spread the #DiverifyTheLens mission, I’ve compiled the below resources:

·     A list of my favorite female photographers

·     Alreadymade, a directory of established commercial photographers curated by Jill Greenberg

·    GirlGaze an organization dedicated to closing the gender gap, founded by Amanda de Cadenet.

·    Women Photograph a listing of female photojournalists

·    #DiversifyTheLens Ambassador materials, including a guide to disrupt the underrepresentation of women in photography and downloadable campaign photos.

This list will be continually updated as I find and develop additional resources for women in the creative field. Please bookmark this link and share to help us build our database.

Have a resource of your own? Let me know about it!

Join the Movement

Hiring more female photographers and having their perspective fairly represented will not only benefit photographers, but the entire creative industry, the global economy and women everywhere. To take it a step further, I believe that the creative vision of women in the marketplace will help us understand women, and each other, better and connect us in a way that is sorely lacking and needed today.

If we work together, it can happen.

By sharing this article, spreading the #DiversifyTheLens mission and seeking out more female talent for your own agency or projects, you can help shift the creative culture.

Thank you.

Sign on to join the mission to #DiversifyTheLens and we will send you an ambassador guide as well as occasional updates.

Written by Trove Artist Management founder Amy V. Cooper in collaboration with Mary MaguireErica Boynton, and Jennie Trower. Special thanks to Cindy Villanueva.

The Daily Edit – ESPN the Magazine: The Body Issue with Karen Frank

- - The Daily Edit

Saquon Barkley photographed by Sophy Holland

Breanna Stewart  photographed by Marcus Eriksson

Lauren Chamberlain  photographed by Hana Asano

Adam Rippon photographed by Mark Seliger

Jerry Rice  photographed by Carlos Serrao

Crystal Dunn  photographed by Marcus Smith

Zlatan Ibrahimovic  photographed by Peter Hapak

Yasiel Puig  photographed by Peggy Sirota

Karl Anthony Towns  photographed by Martin Schoeller

Sue Bird + Megan Rapinoe photographed by Radka Leitmeritz

ESPN The Magazine: The Body Issue

Creative Director: Chin Wang
Director of Photography, Print + Digital: Tim Rasmussen
Director of Photography, ESPN The Magazine: Karen Frank
Deputy Photo Editors: Kristen Geisler, Jim Surber
Senior Photo Editors: Nick Galac
Photo Editor: Kaitlin Marron
Associate Art Director: Linda Pouder

Heidi: This is a moment the industry looks forward too, how long does this issue take to plan?
Karen: The Body Issue is almost a year-round project. Discussions about athletes begin happening almost immediately after the issue closes in June.  However, assigning and shooting typically start in January, so you could say it’s about six months of serious production.

Was it a conscious choice to have 5 men / 5 women for the cover?
Since the beginning we’ve had multiple covers for the issue.  In past years, we’ve had as many as 9 covers and we joked at the beginning of the year that we’d do 10 for 10.  We actually never have a set number of covers for the issue, so we approach every shoot as if it could be a cover.  At the end of shooting, we take a look at what we have and propose any images we feel strongly about as potential covers.  The fact that it came down to an almost even number of men and women (6 men, 5 women) was a really nice coincidence.

Seeing that it’s the 10th year of your annual body issue, what did you learn about the process this year?
This is the 10th year, and we wanted to mark the milestone in a special way.  Several weeks before the issue went live, we released our newly designed Body Issue Archive, a comprehensive collection of every shoot we’ve done since 2009.  For that project, we spent time going back through all the shoots, searching for images we may have overlooked in our initial edits.  Many new, never-before-seen-images are included.  The site has a fantastic search engine; you can search by year, by sport, by name, and see everything here

We also launched a premium digital Body 2018 experience Going back through all the years of Body was a great exercise.  I could see how the photography had evolved from the beginning, where the shoots were much more static and carefully posed, to the place where we are now creating very active and dynamic images

How did you decide what image was environmental and what was studio?
Once we know which athletes have signed on to shoot Body, we do a lot of research about who they are and their particular sport and we begin to imagine how and where we’d like to photograph them.  When we have the photographer assigned to the shoot, we present them with the information we’ve gathered and get their feedback and their ideas about how they’d like to approach the shoot.  For a lot of the shoots, we are able to shoot options that are both studio AND environmental.  That was true this year with our shoots of Jessie Diggins, Jerry Rice, Lauren Chamberlain, and Megan Rapinoe + Sue Bird.

How many different photographers were involved in this issue for the series?
We had just come off a year (2017 issue) where we had, for the first time, made a conscious decision to hire a different photographer for every shoot.  Many of those photographers were new to the Body issue.  In past years, we’d assigned a wide roster of photographers, but several photographers would shoot 2, or sometimes 3 athletes per issue.  We loved the energy that hiring new photographers who had different and diverse approaches to shooting Body brought to the portfolio.  We wanted to continue that for our 2018 issue but also, knowing that this was an anniversary issue, we wanted to include some of the photographers who had created so many iconic images for the issue over the years.  We ended up with a roster of 6 photographers new to the project: Hana Asano, Kurt Iswarienko, Nick Laham, Radka Leitmeritz, Dina Litovsky, and Dana Scruggs; and 9 photographers who had previously shot for Body: Kwaku Alston, Marcus Eriksson, Peter Hapak, Sophy Holland, Martin Schoeller, Mark Seliger, Carlos Serrao, Peggy Sirota, and Marcus Smith.

The Daily Promo – Rob Fiocca

Rob Fiocca

Who printed it?
CJ Graphics, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Who designed it?
My team and I designed the piece together, with some help from CJ Graphics.

Tell me about the images?
The images are a collection of creatives and commissioned work over the last couple of years with a group of talented individuals. Creative collaborations with colleagues, in my opinion, always produce some of my best work.

The creative exploration on set these days is lacking. All too often the creative is already established long before scheduled shoot days. Spontaneity and happy accidents are looked upon as a negative rather than a positive in the production-heavy world we operate in today.

How many did you make?
1000 books

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
We advertise regularly in AT Edge, Workbook, keeping an Instagram presence, Facebook, etc. My Reps also advertise in a similar way, fortunately through the years because of promotion or not we have been a busy studio.

I try every couple of years to produce pieces like this, but everyday work gets the better of us. Promos effective? I certainly hope so. Digital promos are important but disposable, a unique printed piece could live for a long time.

This Week in Photography Books: Steven Bollman

 

The internet’s out, so I’m grumpy.

Yesterday, it was the electricity.

That’s life here in the Rocky Mountains. (And in New Mexico in particular.)

You learn quickly that everything is a trade-off.

On the one hand, we have the nature and the culture, both among the most unique and astonishing in the US. On the other, we have the poverty and incompetence, which compete daily in a twisted dance of darkness.

If you study ancient religion and philosophy, it’s clear that different groups of humans, in disparate parts of the planet, came to an understanding of the power and ubiquity of opposites.

In places as widely spread as Far East and Southern Asia, the Middle East and Peru, iconography or words developed to specifically describe the phenomenon.

We’ve all seen cheesy tattoos of the Yin Yang symbol, but that doesn’t strip it of its import. We Jews have the separation of Earth and Sky in the opening of Exodus, and the Chavin de Huantar culture, in the Andes, made art in which graphic lines had two purposes: strands of hair also functioned as snakes.

These days, when someone wants to discuss dualistic thinking, without any nuance, they describe it as being black and white. (We’ve all said it: he or she doesn’t understand complexity, and only thinks in black and white.)

Ironically, as any photographer knows, black and white photography is all about shades of gray. Tonal range is defined by it: how many different gray tones have you produced to create a rhythm with your whites and blacks?

Black and White photography was the gateway for almost all art students, before the 21st Century. It was the first language you learned, before moving on to color.

These days, only a tiny percentage of photographers learn one before the other. It’s almost all color now, and black and white is a niche, or a filter to slap on in Instagram when you want to be artsy. (Or when your light is crap.)

In the art world, there will always be black and white, but here too it has migrated into the realm of “alternative process.” It represents the past, from a McLuhan-esque perspective, so it can be utilized for nostalgic purposes, or to mess with viewer’s temporal expectations.

Occasionally, though, we’ll find a project that is straight-up throwback. It presents the kind of pictures that feel like they were made by a member of the Rat Pack, reincarnated for the Justin Bieber era.

That’s what I felt about today’s book, “Almost True,” by Steven Bollman, published this year by F8 publications in the Bay Area. He sent it in a few months ago, and it sat on the pile, patiently waiting its turn.

I popped it out of the cardboard yesterday, and was very glad I did. (Normally, I look and write, but this one required a bit of contemplation, as far as how to approach it properly.)

“Almost True” sounds like “Almost Famous,” another throwback project, when Cameron Crowe summoned his halcyon days as a young reporter onto the big screen.

The title also messed with me a bit, as I kept waiting until the end text to learn whether the book was something other than it appeared to be.

It seems, on surface level, to be an exceptionally well-edited group of old-school, black and white street photographs. We sense the stylistic influences of Cartier-Bresson, Frank and Friedlander everywhere, but that’s OK.

Who hasn’t been influenced by those lions, and how does one even begin to make work like this without seeming derivative?

Well, there are a few ways.

1. Make really damn good photographs, and show us a wide range of times and places.

2. Drop in temporal references that cement the project in the now, as opposed to the then.

3. Give the pictures a way to live together that doesn’t evoke someone else, thereby making room for your own voice.

I don’t think I’ve ever dropped into listicle form here before, so there’s a first time for everything. But it reinforces my point: structure can have power.

This book is broken down into sections, with clear themes, and I could feel it from the start, before I knew what it was. “Almost True” made me guess from the get-go, but I didn’t get it right away.

In Chapter 2, I noticed the contortionistic positions of the subjects, and that gesture and body positioning were the hook. So I flipped right back to Chapter 1, and noticed that every picture featured people looking up and away.

Chapter 3 was pictures within pictures, including a nudie poster, (Boobs Sell Books,) and a cool Tupac reference. Then we have people separated by barriers, and Chapter 5 is about connections between consecutive images.

For example, one image has a finger pointing, and the next is of a bird in the sky, in that exact spot. This section also gives us our first dead body. (Seemingly.)

In my read, the subsequent chapters were about women, then transcendence, men, and finally the last one screamed “film stills.”

The artist might quibble with me, for all I know, but that’s also part of creating these implied narratives: they always leave room for the viewer to complete the story.

Frankly, I think this is a killer book. I’m glad I waited a day to write, because the appreciation sunk in, despite the fact that I liked the book immediately.

Yesterday, I was in suspense, waiting to find out of any of this was fake, because of the suggestive title. But the well-written essay, by Alfredo Triff, and the simple, geographic titles, (from 1987-2017) prove it is a collection of straight photos.

There’s lots of chiaroscuro, and a high-key style in general, (not so many creamy shades of gray,) but it fits the neo-noir vibe perfectly. And including images of things like drones, (See Listicle #2 above,) also sets this apart from images made in earlier eras.

Basically, this one comes highly recommended.

Now if they can just get the internet running again, my mood might turn around completely.

Bottom Line: Excellent, compelling collection of black and white street photography

To purchase “Almost True” click here 

 

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers, so that we may maintain a balanced program. 

The Art of the Personal Project: Kip Dawkins

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Kip Dawkins

VACANT

In my everyday work as a commercial photographer I photograph luxury interior products, interiors and lifestyle. Everything, the setting, the light, the styling, is very tightly controlled. We have people combing fringe on pillows. The moments in my personal projects tend to be forgotten places, negative space. They have been allowed to decay or weather through neglect, poverty or the forces of landscape.

I happen upon them by chance. My only control is my ability to see and capture the fleeting moment when light and space and structure come together. I create an atmospheric moment that suggests chaotic forces at work. I got my original start photographing punk rock bands. I liked the chaos and the lack of control, trying to find the happy accident of the moment that comes together.

I’m drawn to these moments because I do the exact opposite every day of the week, but they’re all taken with the technical knowledge that I’ve gotten in all my years of photographing interiors and products. Technically they come out as highly refined as I can get them. It’s the highest level of processing I can do. The same amount of time goes into them as for the luxury projects, but there is no staging, no styling team and no tons of equipment. I have to wait for the clouds to part or the rain to come down on some castoff place.

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  And on Instagram

The Daily Edit – Runner’s World: Jake Stangel

- - The Daily Edit

Runner’s World

Creative Director: Jesse Southerland
Photography Director: Amy Wolff
Photographer: Jake Stangel

When the direction is “do your thing” how do you approach/prepare for the shoot?
I’ve found my best approach to be a good night’s sleep so I can come in to the shoot with sharp mental/visual acuity, and to have some rough shot concepts/sketches in my back pocket, in case things are situationally different from that I’ve planned on. I’ve attempted to come into past shoots with a specific “plan” and exact images I want to achieve, but it ended up locking me in to a set plan and hindering the types of chance encounters I like to seek. Portraiture/sport work is also so very much about the subject and the rapport we quickly build on the shoot day, which is a beautiful unknown that I’ve learned to embrace and lean on. The best way to prepare is to keep my eyes open and observant, my attention on the subject and her environment—as opposed to my camera’s LCD—and to always have my focus and exposures dialed for every minute of the shoot, so I don’t ever miss a potential shot.

Since there was a new creative direction to the magazine what were you trying to bring that was different?
You know, if anything, it was just to stick to my guns more, make work that felt like personal work. I’d done work for RW before, including a cover, but the shoots were pretty art directed and it was one of those situations where I made images that didn’t really feel like they were mine, even as I was shooting them… I was more executing a concept. Which happens sometimes, and you just gotta move with that river as opposed to causing a ruckus and fighting the current too much. So I wasn’t necessarily trying to make “different” images for this RW cover (even though CD, Jesse Southerland told me to “not shoot for a cover”), but make work that felt intensely personal and really conveyed the story of this amazing woman, Amelia Boone, who has been through a phenomenal level of physical and emotional struggle and growth.

As an active person can you tell when you’ve pushed a subject too far for do overs? What are the cues you look for?
Mostly it’s a check-in with the athlete beforehand, and having really open communication of where she/he will be at on the shoot day. Are they injured? Are they tapering (reducing your training mileage before a major event, like an ultra)? Are they on a rest day? What does their coach say? I literally will have conversations about the mileage they can run on the shoot day, or duration of time. These athletes are often at the pinnacle of their career, and the last thing I want to do is jeopardize that in any way because of a photo shoot. I think it also helps convey to them that I’m serious about their well-being and understand their needs, and in setting clear goals and limits, it drops any apprehension they may have about being asked to physically do more than they can or should on the shoot day.

Was this all shot with natural light, if so why?
All natural light. There was no need to use lights that day. I think sometimes people forget that’s an option. Photo has gotten to be such a gear contest sometimes, and I think people whip out strobes automatically now, because that’s “what you do” on a “photoshoot”. There’s a time and a place for lights, but I was really happy with the atmospherics we had that day. Even though I had strobes in the trunk of my car, there was no need to use them, or even use a reflector. I’m puzzled by the compulsive need to use reflector to falsely open shadows. I’m not a religious person, but I believe in the power of mother nature and the atmospherics she brings out into the world, so I generally love to work with whatever she’s got planned for the day, whether it’s bright golden sun or some mystical fog or pouring rain. I love the range of natural light we see in our life, that’s my inspiration for my own lighting.

The Daily Promo – Ben Lowy + Marvi Lacar

Lowy + Lacar

Who printed it?
Smartpress

Who designed it?
We did – Marvi, Me and our graphic designer office assistant extraordinaire Nikki Auxilio

Tell me about the images?
They were all shot at the wrestling world championships in Paris. I had the exclusive responsibility to shoot every single athlete after their matches.

How many did you make?
Initially, we made 100 copies, but because of interest, we printed another 100. We will probably have to print another 100.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Honestly, it depends on the year and the project. We have been doing a lot of video work (which doesn’t translate on paper:) and a lot of underwater work (which doesn’t have a ton of clients to choose from).

How do you pick a subject and approach for your promos?
This year its been tough to come up with quarterly promos – either everything we have done is under embargo or its part of a longer-term project that would get repetitive to send to clients. I can only send so many pics of sharks. :)

With this design, the relatively simple approach I took to making the images was elevated to something more. Each image and face is interactive, in a way that one image alone cant be. That interaction is key, I hope, to future interaction with clients.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think promos are a great way to showcase creative ideas that we image makers come up with. It might not be how clients originally intended to use our work, but it does illustrate how our vision works, and that is what clients need to see in a promo.

This Week in Photography Books: Sigrid Ehemann

 

It’s cool to be funny.

Funny has power.

It’s why a female comic with frizzy hair and a high-pitched voice went from little-known, to globally famous a few months ago. As I don’t regularly watch The Daily Show, (despite what a recent column suggests,) I certainly hadn’t heard of her before the Huckabee-Sanders-Kerfluffle of 2018.

(Try saying Huckabee-Sanders-Kerfluffle five times fast. I could only make it to four.)

Anyway, I was re-watching “Back to School” with my son last night, and unsurprisingly, it held up. (As did “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” which we saw last month.)

Rodney Dangerfield, a fellow Jew, was a genuinely strange-looking guy. From our contemporary vantage-point, there is no f-ing way that anyone who looks like THAT would ever be the romantic lead in a comedy.

Ever.

But still, Rodney pulled it off, bug-eyes and all. (Seriously, he bugged out his eyes A LOT.)

And Sam Kinison, another not-looker with very strange style, (and crazy hair,) also held his own on the screen. (They don’t make them like that anymore.)

Funny has gravitas because it is often a coded way of speaking truth to power. (Or in Ms. Wolf’s case, not-so-coded.)

Funny allowed Donald J Trump to become the third most powerful man in the world. (Xi Jinping, Putin, then Trump, if we’re counting.)

Trump uses funny to disarm, but also because it allows him to say and do terrible things, and then deny he meant them.

“I was only kidding. Locker room talk.”

“I didn’t openly mock a disabled person, even though they caught it on tape.”

“God, why are you so serious. Can’t you take a joke?”

Funny is entertaining, and Trump honed his entertainment skills on NBC for ten-ish years before being famous and polished enough to claim his ultimate prize.

We all need to lighten up a bit, IMO, even in the face of a scary world. Because neither Trump, nor Putin, is coming into your living room this evening.

Nor are they coming into your kitchen. (Shout out to John Raztenberger, who’s an avowed Republican.)

It’s OK to have fun, crack jokes, and enjoy your life, even if you hate the President. Frankly, when I heard Tony Bourdain had killed himself, I wasn’t surprised at all.

In a recent episode in Uruguay, he’d said that Happiness was a sickness, and that he hated happiness and happy people. (I’ll find the segment and quote it, if I have time. It’s still on my DVR. I can’t bring myself to watch the episodes that aired since he died, nor can I delete them.)

Humor is powerful, but also a rational response to the irrational parts of human nature. Our logical brains are strong, but as much of what we do, and the outcomes of our collective efforts make no sense, (private prisons?) having a laugh, as the English say, can be wise as well as cathartic.

Speaking of English, I’ll have to ask Sigrid Ehemann why her new “Pussy Magazine” is written entirely in English, when she’s German. (Based in Dusseldorf.)

The obvious answer is that it’s the world’s default language, and she wants it read around the world.

Still, it’s curious there’s no German within, isn’t it?

No matter, because I absolutely love this new project, and if it weren’t in English, I wouldn’t have the chance to read it.

Sigrid sent in another publication last year, about a charming chihuahua, and I knew she had talent, ingenuity, and a great sense of humor.

I said as much here in my review.

This time out, she’s gone a step further and moved beyond Trump, (an obvious target for all of us,) and taken on the #MeToo movement, and the awful men’s behavior that spawned it.

Issue 1, which is by far the best, sets up the dynamic of image and text, which we had last time, but it’s pushed into a fashion direction this time. (Style credits and such.)

It’s aimed for women of a certain age, (older than 40,) whom society deems irrelevant. It tackles issues directly, whether grabby bosses, male/female pay imbalance, or the fact that women are still vastly underrepresented in exhibitions. (We see the statistic 10 men for every woman.)

Just yesterday, Jörg Colberg and some other colleagues on Twitter were questioning the demographics at Arles, where it was reported white-guy-exhibitions were totally dominant.

I chimed in that as it’s simply unacceptable not to have a more diverse representation these days, I went out and solicited more female submissions for this column directly. Outreach has made a difference, so ladies, please keep those books coming in.

“Pussy Magazine” is a perfect example.
No man on Earth should, would or could have made this.

And the world would be a sadder place without “Pussy Magazine.”

Like Sacha Baron Cohen pranking Sarah Palin, humor is sometimes the only way to get at an issue.

Speaking of issues, only Issue 1 here feels vital. It’s perfect, and as I looked through it, I wondered how it could be topped. (The answer is, it wasn’t.)

The first time out, the combination of the odd model, the insane bag-on-the-head fashion, and the text are shocking in their perfection.

Like “Glow” earning a “10” for Season 2, and then muffing the landing with a tone-deaf-2-minute-ending, (bringing its score down to a 9.90,) sometimes you have to know when you’re done.

Issues 2 and 3 felt like the second and third best ideas, and the repetition of the same model and style was just extra. There were two brilliant, laugh-out-loud-funny images in the 3rd issue, though, so editing is a tricky business.

I’m going to photograph all of Issue 1 down below, so you get a full sense of the rhythm of what Sigrid has done.

It’s so fantastic it should speak for itself.

But it definitely shows us why ensuring male and female artists have an equal voice is not just fair, but also to our massive benefit.

Pussy power indeed. (Can I say that?)

Bottom Line: Hilarious new Post #MeToo “magazine” from Germany

To purchase “Pussy Magazine” contact the artist here

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me directly at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers, in order to maintain a balanced program. 

The Art of the Personal Project: Angie Smith

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Angie Smith

Stronger Shines the Light Inside is an ongoing photography project that tells the personal stories of refugees in the United States. In 2015, Los Angeles-based photographer Angie Smith began documenting refugees rebuilding their lives in Boise, Idaho. She’s since photographed communities in Salt Lake City, Albany, New York, and Los Angeles. Stronger Shines the Light Inside helps Americans understand the complexities, struggles, and personal triumphs that refugees experience in their everyday lives.

Of the 65 million displaced people worldwide, only 1% will eventually be resettled in a host country. And of that 1%, each has endured a long and grueling screening process, often spanning years. This project presents refugees as individuals, each with a unique story, grappling with questions of self-identity, reconciliation with the past, and sifting through the emotions of adjusting to an entirely new culture.

Every story is different, but each one speaks of hope, of refusal to give up. Many point to a serendipitous moment, a right person at the right time—someone who saved their life while fleeing, who offered a ride to a supermarket on their first day in America, maybe a friendly face who helped them read a bus schedule, or someone who simply smiled and said hello. All speak of their desire to integrate and contribute to the community, and many express gratitude for those who have helped them to do so.

In May 2018, Smith began an artist residency with Wieden+Kennedy where she spent three weeks photographing refugees and immigrants in the Portland area and the organizations that support them. Through these photographs, films, and interview excerpts, this exhibition aims to amplify the marginalized voices of immigrants, migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers and highlight the many contributions they make to our communities.

To see more of this project, click here.

Some film stories for the project: http://www.strongershinesthelightinside.com/films/

It is important to talk about this terrible incident that happened in Boise last week… Since this is the city where everything started…
and the print sale I am doing in response to it- all of the proceeds will go to support the IRC fund for the families. http://www.strongershinesthelightinside.com/shop/

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suzanne.sease/

Pricing & Negotiating: Marketing Materials for a Real Estate Company

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Cityscape images capturing the vibe of a neighborhood as well as portraits of the residents and business owners

Licensing: Unlimited use of 20 images in perpetuity

Photographer: Portrait and landscape specialist

Agency: Design firm in California

Client: Real estate and property management company

Here is the estimate:

image of redacted photographic bid for a case study in pricing and negotiating by Wonderful Machine Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer

Creative/Licensing: The design firm was establishing the branding for their client’s new real estate development and intended to use a variety of landscape images of the neighborhood and portraits of people within the community in their marketing materials. They anticipated a need for 10 neighborhood shots and 10 environmental portraits and had originally requested b-roll video content to be captured as well. The design firm hoped to capture everything in 1-2 days, and while they would provide the talent without any need for styling, we recommended a 3-day shoot considering the logistics and timing needed to capture everything, and presented a comprehensive estimate.

While the requested licensing was for unlimited use of 20 images in perpetuity, the intended use was limited to their website and various collateral purposes. Considering the limited intended use and my experience estimating projects for similar clients, I based the licensing fee on $500/image, plus $3000 for the video, and separately broke out the photographer’s creative fee for each of the three shoot days. The photographer also planned to scout the area beforehand and handle some basic prep, so we included a fee for a pre-production day as well.

Assistants and Digital Tech: I included a first assistant and a second assistant on each of the three days who would lend a hand with grip/lighting and help keep the pace as the shoot moved from spot to spot within the neighborhood. I also included a digital tech for each of the shoot days, and in addition to a $500 fee for each day, I added another $500 per day for their laptop workstation.

Producer: The producer would be responsible for booking the crew, collaborating to develop a schedule, acquiring permits, and figuring out the best plan for meals, and we felt that 2 days would be sufficient to help line everything up. In an attempt to keep the crew lean and mean on set, we did not include them on the actual shoot days. While they would have been helpful on-site during the shoot, we were asked to keep the team as small as possible, and the photographer felt that he could do without them once the details were all lined up.

Permits: We included $500 to help cover fees charged by the local film office to issue a shooting permit.

Equipment: The photographer primarily relied on natural light along with a minimal lighting system for the portraits, and we included $500/day to cover his own gear. It was a bit on the low end, but we anticipated their budget would be tight, and the photographer was comfortable charging a nominal fee in order to keep the bottom line modest.

DP/Videographer and Video Equipment: We included a DP at $1,500/day to capture the b-roll content, and a similar equipment budget as we anticipate for the photography. The exact parameters for the video were still in the works, but based on the conversations up until this point and their minimal needs, we did not anticipate that an audio tech or any extra sets of hands would be necessary for the video.

Parking, Meals, Misc.: I included $100/day for a light lunch plus $50/day for parking and miscellaneous expenses for each of the three days.

Post Processing: $500 would be dedicated to the photographer’s initial import, edit, and presentation of the images to the client. Once the design firm made their selects, we included $100/image for basic color correction and processing for each of the 20 final images.

Video Editing: Since the scope of their video needs was still developing, the agency wasn’t able to articulate the total run time or style of an edit they might want, so we marked the editing as TBD.

Feedback: In an effort to be more budget conscious, the design firm asked what we might be able to do in order to keep production to two days. We felt that if we were to streamline the schedule and remove the video component of the project we could squeeze the shoot into two days by capturing five portraits per day and shooting as many cityscape images as possible while in transition from one location to another. We submitted a revised estimate that reduced the days for the crew (except the producer prep days) and adjusted appropriately for equipment and expenses. The licensing fees also came down a bit and the DP was removed since the video was stripped away, and all of these changes brought the bottom line down to a place we felt would be more palatable for the client.

Here is the revised estimate:

image of redacted photographic bid for a case study in pricing and negotiating by Wonderful Machine Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer

Results: The photographer was awarded the project. Since the request for video wasn’t fully fleshed out, the client didn’t seem to mind us removing that element, especially since it allowed the project to be executed within two days, and ultimately help reduce the bottom line.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 or reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.